Changes to the social media landscape
As always, digital keeps us on our toes. With WordPress Gutenberg updates, LinkedIn innovation and the latest change to bring us to our “tippy toes”, the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. Based on the findings thus far, the “humorous” state senate appearance by Mr Zuckerberg, as well as further investigations into Twitter, the social media landscape has had to make a number of significant changes that will impact every business page out there in a variety of ways.
We break down some of the significant changes to social media that have already been imposed as well as how it will impact you and your business.
These scandals threaten to impact the size of their user base and popularity. Campaigns such as #DeleteFacebook and the de-integration of thousands of 3rd party apps, businesses are starting to question social media’s usefulness in reaching potential customers.
More recently, concerns about Facebook’s collection of extensive call and SMS data, is also causing headaches. In light of the these scandals, all Facebook users were motivated to investigate the data Facebook stores in their account.
Here are some of the key changes a user was able to make:
- Unfollow multiple business pages
- Unfollow group pages
- Removal of years of call records
- Removal of years of private messages
- Removal of years of SMS data
All of this data, they say, was collected without permission, by Facebook.
In a release titled, “Fact Check: Your Call and SMS History,” Facebook came out with a denial of this practice. In it, the social media giant explains call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite.
Immediate changes to be aware of
With all this being said, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram have had to revise their data policies, and have thus impacted business pages, advertising criteria, fans & followers and management of pages. Based on this announcement on April 4, 2018, it was revealed that changes are coming for all third-party social apps that integrate Facebook and Instagram pertaining to data access. Two changes that have already been implemented are:
Facebook Private Messages
Pages connected to 3rd party apps temporarily disabled the use of private messaging features, including sending and receiving PMs and Bots. We’re continuing to monitor the status of this functionality and we advise you to manually manage your inbox messages until further notice.
One of the bigger impacts is that you can no longer mention another business page or sponsor branded content in a scheduled post composition. This is now manually edited, after the post has gone live. You can still however mention a page for any “off the cuff” posts.
The good, the bad and the ugly
For Businesses, there will be a noticeable drop in engagement and reach based on these changes. There will also be a increase in un-likes and un-follows as people are reminded of who and what they are “linked up” to.
For the personal user, their timeline will change. You will start seeing old friends and pages that you have not seen for awhile as they all start to re-appear based on the revised data settings. You will also see less relevant adverts and marketing, which may be a good thing for some.
Where to now?
The sentiment out there from every day users, is that the majority of data they have on Facebook has actually been put there by them and essentially was provided with permission. What and how these digital giants use that data is where the real question lies. In an era of digital transformation – legislation, governance and protection of data is fairly new and the world is learning as we go.
I personally like having tailored advertising and content suited to my needs and views and this would not be possible without the transference of some data. I do however, firmly believe that you should be reminded about these data syncs on a regular basis and therefore you will be able to terminate any questionable ones at your convenience.
What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about your personal data & interests being used by these companies? All I can say is that if you don’t want anyone to know something or see that picture or even have you phone number, then don’t post it online, anywhere, ever, period.